India U16 beat Sharjah FC U18 to end UAE trip on a high

AIFF Media

India U16 emerged victorious against Sharjah FC U18 as the Blue Colts defeated them 4-2 in a friendly on Tuesday. 

There were four different goal-scorers for India. Himanshu Jangra opened the scoring, followed by a strike from Taison Singh. In the second half, they netted two more with Maheson Singh and Suhail Bhat scoring the third and fourth goal respectively. Whereas, the hosts scored once in each half of the match. 

It was India's second consecutive win of the trip and third overall. 

Bibiano Fernandes' boys started their UAE (United Arab Emirates) sojourn on a bright note by beating the U19 team of local side Liwa FC 1-0 in a friendly encounter at the Spanish Soccer School Ground in Sports City.  

The Blue Colts were supposed to play their first match on January 15 against Al Hamriyah FC but the match had to be cancelled because of a few Coronavirus cases in the opposition camp. Four players in their team had tested positive. The Indian team management then arranged a last-minute friendly with Liwa FC. 

Ebindas scored the only goal of the match in the 71st minute. 

In their next match, they were defeated 3-0 by the UAE U16 team. But the team showed character and beat the same opponents 1-0 in their next meeting. 

After a docile first half, the team took control of proceedings in the second. The coach brought on Bhat in the 55th minute in place of Himangshu Jangra. Around the hour-mark, he was almost through on goal but his effort sailed wide of the post. Three minutes later, Ebindas' effort also missed the target. 

However, in the 79th-minute, the deadlock was finally broken and India were rewarded for their persistence. After Taison Singh latched on to a through ball from midfield on the right-wing, he burnt his pace to leave behind his marker and drilled in a low cross inside the penalty box. Suhail was waiting for the delivery and the striker made no mistake to dispatch the ball into the net to give India the lead. 

Fernandes was preparing his team for the upcoming AFC U16 Championship that was slated to be held in Bahrain. 

But AFC (Asian Football Confederation) reluctantly arrived at the decision to cancel the tournaments after taking into consideration the uncertainty and risks in view of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

The next edition will be allocated to the same hosts in 2023.